Whisk the family away this winter to discover the geological mysteries and star-studded skies of Queensland’s Capricorn Way.
The Capricorn Way is an iconic road trip; it will all at once teach you about Australia’s past, present and future. Prepare for fairly mild temperatures, ranging from around 10ºC at night to around 25ºC during the day – the best part is that there is very little chance of rain, making your travels that little bit easier. Ideally, you want to have a decent selection of toasty clothing for the evenings – especially if you want to take advantage of the clear night skies.
Rockhampton to Duaringa
Rockhampton should be a staple of any Queensland holiday. Not only is it the perfect spot to have a big, juicy steak before setting out on your journey, Rockhampton has the natural and geological diversity that Queensland (and many other parts of Australia for that matter) is renowned for.
For the adventurous, a tour of the Capricorn Caves is a must. These limestone caves will leave you feeling amazed – if you want a bit of an adrenalin kick with that, try the climbing wall or rope obstacle course.
Mount Archer National Park is ideal for an afternoon hike, where you’ll see a wide variety of native plants and flowers, and a view of Rockhampton and surrounds that you’ll not soon forget. If you just don’t have a hike in you, opt for a picnic in the Rockhampton Botanic Gardens, which have been cultivated by locals for more than 130 years.
There’s more to Australia’s coal capital than meets the eye. To take it all in, make sure you stop at the spectacular Blackdown Tablelands – essentially this is one big sandstone that rises more than 600 metres above the surrounding plains. The tablelands formed millions of years ago as tectonic plates pushed sandstone and sedimentary rock (from a nearby lake) upwards.
Immerse yourself in the Aboriginal culture of the tablelands – the stencil art along the Mimosa Creek cultural trail is a great place to start. You can also camp overnight in the forest at South Mimosa Creek – there’s plenty of space for tents, campervans and small trailers, those with a caravan will need to leave it behind in town. As the sun sets, wildlife spotting in this area can be very fruitful, so take a torch (and your commonsense) and try your luck!